A new milestone was hit this week in the construction of The DeLong Co. Inc’s new $40 million agricultural maritime export facility at Port Milwaukee. The respective pieces of a ship loader officially arrived Monday after travelling 1,500 miles by barge from Louisiana. The equipment, which was made in the U.S., is capable of loading 40,000 bushel/1,100 ton per hour onto vessels and barges. The ship loader, which is currently being installed on Jones Island, will serve as the heart of DeLong’s loading operations. Construction of the full facility is expected to be complete in 2023, coinciding with the annual start of Port Milwaukee’s international shipping season. While initial cost estimates for the facility were around $31 million, that amount is now at $40 million, according to a press release from Port Milwaukee. “Delivery and installation of the ship loader, as part of the future agricultural maritime export facility, is a turning point in our efforts to realize new agricultural opportunities and advance economic activity in the city and throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Adam Tindall-Schlicht, director of Port Milwaukee. “The Port is looking forward to next year when the terminal comes to life. Wisconsin-produced cargoes handled on Jones Island will be multiplied through new rail and vessel efficiency at the DeLong terminal.” The new facility, located on the west side of Jones Island, will be one of the first on the Great Lakes -- St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) system to handle various agricultural commodities via truck, rail, and international vessel, including Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs). DDGs are an animal feed supplement derived as a byproduct of ethanol high in nutrients. This facility will open Wisconsin's maritime and agricultural economies to new international markets for this and other products. Future service at the facility may also include the export of Wisconsin-grown soybeans, corn and grain. This development is the largest one-time investment in Port Milwaukee since the 1950s, when the St. Lawrence Seaway was being built. Port Milwaukee was one of the first nationwide grant recipientsof the Port Infrastructure Development Program through the U.S. Department of Transportation. Additional facility funding has been provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Port Milwaukee and DeLong Co. DeLong Co. also received approval this week for a $1.5 million Freight Railroad Preservation Program grant to help with the installation of conveyance equipment at the Port Milwaukee site. [gallery size="full" td_select_gallery_slide="slide" ids="556795,556796,556797,556798"]
Holiday flash sale! Subscribe to BizTimes and save nearly 40%!